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Full text of "The Point"

The Point 



FREE 

Sept. 28, 2007 
Issue 2 



Fitchburg State College's student newspaper 



It's a magical time 




Jonathan Pendragon is set to share the art of illusion in performance, 
during Family Weekend at Fitchburg State College. 



Pendragons add 
enchantment to 
Family Weekend 



By Tim McCarthy 

Family Weekend at Fitchburg State 
College is going to be enchanted with 
a touch of magic, literally. 

A show by illusionists the Pendrag- 
ons will highlight the two-day extrava- 
ganza, which begins Sept. 28 with 
fireworks and a parade. 

•'This will be our first time per- 
forming at Fitchburg. We've performed 
in other theaters in Massachusetts, but 
we're looking forward to adding this 
theater to our repertoire," said Char- 
lotte Pendragon. who shares the stage 
with her husband, Jonathan. Their 
show, "The Ghosts of Broadway," can 
be seen Sept. 29 at 8 p.m. in Weston 
Auditorium. 

Going above and beyond merely 
pulling rabbits out of hats, the Pen- 
dragons have been performing for over 
25 years for a variety of audiences, 
including heads of state. "What sepa- 
rates us from our peers is that Jon . . . 
has become the grandmaster of magic, 
literally. He gets phone calls from 
magicians to help them with their 

Continued on Page 2 



At SGA, teamwork reigns 

Student government 
holds together with 
bonds of friendship 

By Megan Benevides 

Teamwork seems to be the theme 
for the Student Government Associa- 
tion this year. 

It's certainly true for the executive 
board - "the newly elected student- 
body president and vice president 
have been close friends throughout all 
four years of college. 

Senior Maria Villena has taken the 
reins as president, while Marissa Tor- 
res fills the position of vice president. 
Their close bond of friendship, they 
believe, will help them work together 
to create a team and make important staff photo 

Seniors Maria Villena, left, and Marissa Torres work together to make a 
Continued on Page 2 difference on campus, as leaders in the Student Government Association, 





Staff photo by Megan Benevides 

A new program will give students 
more opportunity to help the 
environment by recycling. 

Campus is 
going green 

By Mike Prescott 

Green is a popular hue around the 
Fitchburg State College campus. As 
one of the school colors, it is seen on 
sweatshirts, signs, and sports uniforms. 
And this fall, FSC is about to get even 
"greener." 

As the national focus shifts toward 
environmentally friendly activities, so 
has the focus of the Fitchburg State 
College administration. Starting in 
October, a new campus-wide recycling 
initiative will begin, offering students 
and faculty numerous opportunities to 
recycle throughout their day. 

"There is always an incentive to go 
green in a facility atmosphere," said 
Joe LoBuono, FSC assistant director 
of maintenance. "If you look at the 
budget, recycling more saves on the 
cost of trash removal on a campus this 
size." 

According to LoBuono, the 
materials-management department 
anticipates a drop in trash removal 
costs of nearly 50 percent after just 
one year of full implementation of the 
recycling program. 

"There will be haul-away costs 
associated with the [recycling] 
program, but the cut in trash removal 
costs should even out the cost of any 
program, as well as save us money in 
the long run," said LoBuono. 

Continued on Page 2 



2 ~ Sept. 28, 2007 



The Point 



Green looks 
good to FSC 

Continued from Page 1 

Currently, Fitchburg State College 
utilizes recycling primarily for 
"mixed fibers," or newspapers and 
magazines. This fall, recycling efforts 
are aimed to expand to paper, plastic, 
and cardboard, all across the campus. 
Though this sounds like an easy and 
logical transition, it will require some 
major upgrades to existing equipment. 

"I am working right now with 
Casella Waste Systems Inc. to modify 
our compactor and get ready for the 
roll-out of the project," said LoBuono. 

Campus food service provider 
Chartwell's is also working to expand 
their existing recycling program as part 
of the new initiative. 

Elsewhere on campus, there will be 
small bins in offices and classrooms, 
larger bins in common areas, and 
roll-away barrels in the highest traffic 
locations. As the demand for recycling 
grows, more receptacles will be added, 
according to LoBuono. 

As for recycling in the residence 
halls, student volunteers will expand 
existing programs to encourage 
recycling of all materials using the 
appropriate methods. 

Students and faculty can expect to 
see signs posted around' campus, emails 
in their inboxes, and other awareness 
campaigns soon. 




•, i \ % . Staff photo by Megan Benevides 

Fitchburg State College studenlis show their spirit by getting into recycfing. • 



Pendragons bring magic to campus 



Continued from Page 1 

shows," Charlotte Pendragon said in a 
recent telephone interview. 

"The Ghosts of Broadway" cen- 
ters on vignettes taken fi-om popular 
Broadway productions such as "Chi- 
cago," "Phantom of the Opera," and 
"Hamlet," and enchants them with the 
magic and stagecraft that have made 
the Pendragons famous. 

Among the illusions is the Pen- 
dragons' world-famous "Metamor- 
phosis," in which a bound assistant is 
placed within a box and, in the blink 
of an eye, swaps places with the magi- 
cian standing on the box above. The 
trick has long baffled audiences - and, 
according to Charlotte Pendragon, it 
also confounds many magicians. 

"It's really a standard by which 
illusionists judge each other," she 
explained. "If you perfect the 'Meta- 
morphosis,' it reflects your level as a 
magician. 

"It's been an evolution in prog- 
ress," she continued. "We're both 
gymnasts; we use some of our acrobat- 
ic skills to make it faster, shaving off 
two to three seconds to about a sec- 
ond. Over the years, we've developed 
faster techniques. The entire goal is to 
make a metamorphosis in the blink of 
an eye so I appear to change into Jon. 
It's a learning process." 

Currently listed in the Guin- 



ness Book of World Records for com- 
pleting the illusion in just a quarter of 
a second, the Pendragons plan to com- 
plicate the trick further by performing 
a new variation called "Shadow Meta- 
morphosis." 

"Jon is locked in a trunk," Char- 
lotte Pendragon began. "I stand on top 
with a cloth, yet you see me through 
the cloth as my shadow is reflected. 
As I'm dropping it down you see my 
shadow, but now Jon has taken my 
place." 

As a whole, Charlotte Pendragon 
said, "Ghosts of Broadway" is "a cool 
show, not simply a kiddie show." 

"It's a very fiin and enjoyable eve- 
ning and also a nice distraction from 
homework." 

Opening for the Pendragons is 
comedic ventriloquist Lynn Trefzger. 

While the Pendragons show may 
be the climax of Family Weekend 
2007, many other activities have been 
planned to entertain audiences of all 
ages. 

"This year, the students really and 
truly have complete control over the 
entire weekend," said Shane Franzen, 
associate director of student develop- 
ment. "It's the students' weekend and 
they really wanted to focus in on fami- 
lies. They wanted the parents and fam- 
ily members to come back and have 
this really cool weekend." 

The festivities are set to open Sept. 



28 at 7 p.m. with a Mardi Gras-themed 
parade complete with floats, bands, 
and antique cars. "We haven't had a 
parade here in about three years, so 
the students are really excited," Fran- 
zen said. "We're hoping to have some 
jazz and blues-style music during the 
parade," he added. After the proces- 
sion, which starts on North Street in 
front of Weston Auditorium, students 
and their families will be treated to 
the annual fireworks spectacle out on 
Elliot Athletics Field at about 8 p.m., 
and conclude the night with an out- 
door screening of "Shrek the Third" 
at 8:30 p.m. 

The following day's events will 
begin at 10 a.m. with a women's soc- 
cer showdown between FSC and 
Worcester State College out on the 
Elliot Athletic Fields, pause for a 
Tailgate Lunch break provided by 
Chartwell's, and then resume with a 
1:30 p.m. football game between FSC 
and Bridgewater State College. During 
the games, families will also be able 
to partake in the Fun Fair, an open-air 
bazaar. 

The Family Weekend parade, fire- 
works, and movie screening are fi-ee. 
Tickets for the Pendragons' "Ghosts of 
Broadway" cost $10 for FSC students; 
$ 1 5 for faculty, staff, parents, and 
alumni; $20 for the general public and 
for all tickets at the door. For more 
information, call (978) 665-3163. 



Teamwork 
keeps SGA 
going strong 

Continued from Page 1 

improvements needed to Fitchburg 
State. Beyond a tight friendship, Ville- 
na and Torres are both communication 
media majors. Villena feels that this 
will help her communicate well with 
the student body. "It is easier for me to 
talk to people about important issues. 
I'm not afraid to talk to students about 
what they are having problems with," 
Villena said. 

Torres has a minor in business, 
which she feels will be useful as 
she works to keep the SGA running 
smoothly. She considers herself a very 
organized person, which should also 
serve SGA well. "I am always making 
lists," she says. 

As president and vice president, 
Villena and Torres serve on the execu- 
tive board - also known as e-board. 

"It is the administrative part of 
the coimcil," Villena explains. "On 
e-board we discuss what direction we 
think SGA should be going in, and 
make sure everyone else is on task. 

"We are composed of a president, 
myself; a vice president, Marissa Tor- 
res; a treasnrer, ScotfrP^yfor; a secre- 
tary:, Kristen Creamer; dnd the student 
trustee, Eric Mayhew. We also help 
guide the rest of couricil when they are 
lost as far as what to do with in their 
class." 

Villena is also be in charge of run- 
ning weekly meetings, which she said 
include reports from e-board members, 
classes, commuters' board, the hall 
representatives, and committees. "We 
have an open gallery for any student to 
sit in on the meetings," Villena says, 
"and we sometimes have guest speak- 
ers that can include anyone from the 
head of Chartwell's to the president of 
the college." 

It takes both passion and time to 
be an SGA member. Beyond weekly 
e-board, class, and government meet- 
ings, there are events to plan, office 
hours, and committee meetings. Vil- 
lena and Torres know they have an 
intense year ahead of them. 

As president, Villena hopes to 
accomplish the goal of creating a 
greener campus. Already this year a 
recycling program has begun in several 
of the dorm buildings. Torres supports 
this goal, and also hopes to bring about 
greater collaboration among clubs and 
organizations. 

Although there is a lot of work 
ahead for Villena and Torres, they 
believe it will all prove worthwhile 
in the end. "The most rewarding part 
about SGA is the fact that you know 
you are doing something for the stu- 
dents," Villena says. "In committee 
meetings you are sometimes the only 
student voice there. To know that you 
were part of something that is going 
to change students' lives here at Fitch- 
burg is a great feeling." 



The Point 



Sept. 28, 2007 ~ 3 



Flu's coming: Give it your best shot 



Health experts say 
immunization is 
the best defense 

By Julie Miller 

We've all had it: the itchy, runny nose; 
the dreadful, hacking cough; the teary, 
bloodshot eyes; and worst of all, the 
fever. We all try to avoid it, but we 
know it's coming for us sooner or 
later. There is no escaping it when 
you're trapped in a building occupied 
by 300 other infected people. 

WTiat is this awfijl plague that 
everyone so desperately tries to avoid? 

It's the influenza virus, more 
commonly known as the flu. This 
very contagious disease is the most 
unwelcome guest on any college cam- 
pus, because it attacks the respiratory 
system and leaves students feeling as 
though they have been hit by a truck. 

"Having the flu makes you feel 
icky," says Amanda Roy, a junior at 
FSC. "It makes my nose all raw and 
I feel ugly, and no matter how many 
times I sniffle it doesn't get any better. 

"I have to sleep sitting up because 




and my head feels like it's going to 
explode. All I want to do is sleep." 

Andrew Finely, a sophomore, adds, 
"When I get the flu I can tell because 
I get muscle aches and headaches, 
pretty bad ones." 

The symptoms of the flu can 
include fever, cough, muscle pain, 
headache, and weakness. The average 
bout with the flu usually lasts only a 
few days, even though for the suffer- 
ers that seems like a lifetime. 

Flu shots are often recommended, 
but not everyone is convinced. 

Craig Shannon, a junior at FSC, 
said, "I don't think I'd bother getting 



one. I don't see the necessity." 

But Martha Favre, the director of 
FSC Student Health Services, urges 
students to get vaccinated. 

"I would strongly suggest getting 
immunized. If students get the flu, 
they will miss a week of classes. The 
flu generally hits campus around exam 
time," Favre said. 

The vaccination will be available 
on campus sometime in October to 
students, faculty and staff, she said, 
priced at $10 for students and $15 for 
faculty and staff. 

"We have purchased 200 doses, 
and we get additional doses fi-om the 
Board of Health in Fitchburg," Favre 



said. Those planning to get immunized 
on campus are advised to pay attention 
to the video screens all around campus 
for updates on when the flu clinic will 
be open at FSC. 

Wondering what you can do to pro- 
tect yourself from catching this nasty 
bug? 

According to the Massachusetts 
Department of Health's Public Fact 
Sheet, the best option is to get the 
influenza vaccination. 

There are, however, other precau- 
tions to take. Make sure that a lack 
of sleep doesn't wear you down, and 
always wash your hands since the 
virus is spread through the air when 
the affected person sneezes, coughs or 
even talks. Sharing drinks and kiss- 
ing are also common ways for flu to 
spread. 

If, despite your best efforts, the 
flu still finds you, seek out medical 
care and resign yourself to bed rest to 
recover and regain your strength. 

Should you have any further ques- 
tions or health concerns regarding the 
influenza virus, you can contact Fitch- 
burg State College's Health Services 
department either through their web- 
site, http://www.fsc.edu/healthserv/ . or 
by phone at (978) 665-3216. 



New grading system sets the record straight 



Pluses and minuses 

add up to 

greater consistency 

By Mike Prescott 

As students began classes this 
semester, they were greeted with 
new professors, new courses, new 
challenges - and even a new grading 
system. 

After months of open discussion, 
the grading structure at Fitchburg State 
College has been adjusted to quarter- 
grade intervals. 

"The No. 1 concern [among 
students and teachers] was the 
inconsistency of the existing grading 
policy," said Paul Weizer, a social 
science professor and member of the 
Academic Quality Committee. "There 
were pluses, but no minuses, which 
resulted in grade ranges that were too 
big." 

In previous semesters, a good 
student might have earned a grade of 
4.0, 3.5, or 3.0, for example. Now, that 
student can receive a 4.0, 3.7, 3.5, 3.3, 
or 3.0. 

It was in Spring 2007 that the 
Academic Quality Committee - 
consisting of three faculty members, 
two administrators, and two students 
- took the issue up and began serious 
discussion. 

A Blackboard site was set up to 
gather student and faculty input on the 




Staff photo by Megan Benevides 

Whether the grade is good or bad, it's more likely to be accurate with the new system of quarter-grade intervals in 
place at Fitchburg State College. 



grading structure, and the response 
was loud and clear: It was time for a 
change. 

The committee researched the' 
grading options used at other state 
colleges, including Worcester State, as 
well as those used at private Central 
Massachusetts colleges such as Holy 
Cross in Worcester. They found that 



the quarter-grade system was more 
prevalent among these colleges, and 
decided to move in that direction. 

Throughout the process, student 
input was highly valued. The proposal 
to change the grading system was 
referred to the Student Affairs 
Committee, which reported back 
positively on the proposal. 



Now that the new system is 
in place, Weizer said, students 
will receive grades more closely 
tailored to their individual effort and 
performance. "The hope is that it 
will more accurately reflect student 
performance, and address the concerns 
of students being placed in grade 
categories that they didn't deserve." 



4 ~ Sept. 28, 2007 



The Point 




Elegance? Pour it on! 



By Brittany Abraham 

The word Destare is elegantly 
illuminated on two sides of a very 
average-looking building on the comer 
of Fitchburg's busy Main Street. 

The dim lighting shows through a 
peninsula of glass, leaving the inside 
activities a mystery to those passing 
by. 

Inside, a sea of buzzing conversa- 
tion and the musings of an energetic 
jazz band add life to this European- 
style martini bar and cafe. Antique 
furniture of varying texture and shape 
fills nearly half of this spacious estab- 
lishment, while a modem marble bar 
extends lengthwise down the opposing 
side. 

Indirect lighting by way of chic 
chandeliers and retro hanging lamps 
works to set a comfortable yet intimate 
mood. 

It's a Tuesday night and an eclec- 
tic crowd, varying decades in age, 
has gathered in Fitchburg's newest 
hotspot. 

Imagined and created by a partner- 
ship of three individuals - Chris losua, 
Lance Dellogono, and Paul Goguen 
- Destare is the embodiment of their 
belief that Fitchburg is the place where 



Nightspot brings 
upscale ambience 
to Fitchburg 

an elegant establishment can and will 
be successful. 

As described by Mr. losua, "This 
area has a huge percentage of commu- 
nity members that are unable to pursue 
a full, enjoyable evening in this area 
due to the lack of places to go, and we 
think Destare can be the solution to 
that." 

Thus far, without any advertising 
or marketing besides personal intro- 
ductions and word-of-mouth, each 
night has been a pleasant surprise 
bringing in new, unique clientele, as 
well as reoccurring groups that have 
dubbed themselves "regulars." 

Destare, which is Italian for awak- 
ening, was influenced by cafes and 
bars encountered throughout the part- 
ners' travels - including Europe, South 
Africa, and Asia. 

Melding atmospheric elements 
with drink and food recipes, this 
worldly bar works to bring an entire 
community together to enjoy the 



nightlife. "We want everyone to feel 
comfortable here," losua explains. 
"We welcome everyone - businesspeo- 
ple, FSC students, residents - to come 
in and enjoy themselves." 

"This place is out of this world," 
Samantha Adelman, a 24-year-old 
local, says of Destare. 

"I wanted to check it out because 
everyone has been raving about it, 
and I have been back every Tuesday 
since." 

The establishment offers live 
music, comedy shows, a list of 38 spe- 
cialty martinis from bars all over the 
world, and decadent gourmet snacks 
and pastries. 

On a typical night, groups of 
50-somethings sip aged cognacs and 
chat about business on the couches 
directly bordering a group of 20-some- 
things enjoying trendy martinis and 
live music. 

The staff, clad in all black and 
sporting enthusiastic smiles, mingles 
throughout the bar, serving attentively, 
chatting amicably, and seeming to 
have a good time. 

If a pairing of comfort and ele- 
gance was Destare's goal, its custom- 
ers say it has, thus far, been a success. 




Staff photo by Nicoletta Amato 

Want to make your study time more effective, and score higher on tests? Look for tips and strategies you can use, 
in Issue 3 of the Point on Oct. 12. 



Falcons set 
to soar past 
rocky start 



By Brian Way 

While most students at Fitch- 
burg State were busy partying as if it 
were their jobs on the first weekend 
back at college, the students on the 
football team were working full force 
to begin the season with a victory. 

The Fitchburg Falcons played their 
opening game of the season against 
the Curry Colonials on Sept. 8 at Elliot 
Field, and the fans came out to support 
them. The Civic Center parking lot 
was packed with cars, the stadium was 
full of proud parents, shirtless body- 
painted students, and rival Curry fans. 

The weather was hot - about 90 
degrees - and the Curry Colonials 
were hot, too. The Colonials won the 
game 47-20. 

Although this was a disappointment 
for Falcon fans, the players didn't 
seem overly worried. 

"It doesn't matter as far as I'm 
concemed," said Michael Portrais, 
No. 4 comer position. "We played our 
best and worked our hardest." Accord- 
ing to linebacker Anthony Grassini, 
"They were a top-notch team and they 
just wore us down; they knew how to 
win." 

The game ended with a suspension 
due to heavy rain and severe lightning 
with 5:18 left on the clock. 

There was hope in sight for our 
Falcons throughout most of the game. 
When Curry was up 16-0 after just a 
quarter of play, the Falcons jumped 
back with two touchdowns, landing the 
score at a close 16-14. 

The halftime score was 23-14, 
Curry still ahead. The Falcons col- 
lected themselves in the clubhouse 
with chants that could be heard from 
the stands. "I think that we knew what 
we were in for when we saw them 
dominate Worcester, but we surprised 
ourselves at how good we were after 
halftime," Grassini said. "But they 
had good strategy and you can't get 
cocky." 

The Colonials jumped ahead even 
further in the third quarter with a score 
of 30-14. However, the Falcons retali- 
ated with another score, bumping them 
up another 6 points. The game was 
full of ups and downs, but the end was 
fatal for the Falcons when the Colo- 
nials pushed their score up, leaving it 
at 47-20. 

While the first game of the season 
is always one to remember, there are 
plenty of games both home and away 
yet to come; Falcon fans will have 
plenty of chances to cheer for their 
team.